Here is a concept shot of what is a continual evolution of designs.  This is way off in the future, but is the end goal of what I'm working towards.  Now that I'm starting to acquire actual parts and pieces I'm a bit concerned about the weight.  But first things first, and one step at a time.  I still have yet to build even one good rotor blade, but I do have a plan now for the first rotor set, and the variable pitch rotor head.  Drive system will need lots of testing but that is phase 2.  Phase 1 is just doing some performance testing on a single rotor head.  Determine lift, drag, power, roll rate, etc.

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Comment by Stephen Zidek on March 31, 2016 at 8:27am

Hmm, I think I'll beat Rob to the punch here.  Why make a quad with variable pitch when you could make a helicopter?

Comment by Randy Sonnicksen on March 31, 2016 at 8:48am

Why not? :)

Comment by Vitor Ramalho on March 31, 2016 at 9:54am

Cost and structure wouldn't give you an easy time.

Comment by frederic reblewski on March 31, 2016 at 9:55am

why not?

more complex

more expensive 


less reliable

less energy efficient

drive system from a central engine = lots of destructive vibrations


in fact one could claim that the only multicopter advantage is mechanical simplicity thanks to fixed pitch propellers

if you plan to sit in there you could begin with looking at how carefully individual plane designers approach the design of a much simpler object. if there is a flaw you die...

good luck

Comment by Andy Little on March 31, 2016 at 10:09am

Looks Great ... but Might be worth testing the mechnaics out as a model first

Comment by RPM on March 31, 2016 at 10:13am

In concept it sure looks cool, but I would not get in that egg!

Comment by David Boulanger on March 31, 2016 at 10:22am

I see no advantage over a helicopter but a lot of disadvantages.


David R. Boulanger

Comment by Randy Sonnicksen on March 31, 2016 at 10:23am

Frederic, you give me pause.

I cannot deny most of your points.  Certainly enough of them to make me stop and re-ask myself "Why".

BTW some perspective on this, I plan to initially fly as a UAV.  May never get past that.  It was of course the prospect of someday climbing in (and not wanting to die) that moved me into the variable pitch, single engine design.

And hence the complexities and weight of variable pitch and drive systems.

Another piece of perspective is that I personally find a great deal of satisfaction with the process of designing and testing.  And I'm learning quite a bit in the process.  So I will likely continue on this path, but I greatly appreciate your comments.

Comment by Brian on March 31, 2016 at 10:25am

The concept has been tested on a model using an OpenPilot CC3D.

It does add alot of mechanical complexity.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on March 31, 2016 at 10:35am

Can you do it for less than $35k?

Frederic, I agree.  The only point to a multirotor, is the simplicity from fixed pitch propellers.  Once you throw that away...  But the multirotor bandwagon is strong.

I sure wish I had $35k lying around to pick up one of these Mosquito kits and throw a Pixhawk on it.  Bam, UAV with a 270lb payload.


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